City of Endless Night
Part 4 out of 5
"Calm yourself," said Boehm, as he attempted to push me again toward the
couch. "There is nothing wrong, and you must surrender to the psychic
equilibrator so that I can proceed with the examination."
"Examination be damned," I shouted fiercely; "you were trying to
hypnotize me with that infernal machine."
Boehm did not reply but calmly proceeded to pick up the apparatus and
restore it to its place in the corner, while I paced angrily about the
room. He then seated himself and addressed me as I stood against the
wall glaring at him. "You are labouring under hallucinations," he said.
"I fear your case is even worse than I thought. But calm yourself. I
shall attempt no further examination today."
I resumed a seat but refused to look at him. He did not talk further of
my supposed mental state, but proceeded to entertain me with gossip of
the Royal Level, and later discussed the novels in the bookcase.
It was difficult to keep up an open war with so charming a
conversationalist, but I was thoroughly on my guard. I could now readily
see through the whole fraud of my imputed mental derangement. I knew my
mind was sound as a schoolboy's, and that this pretence of examination
and treatment was only a blind. Evidently the Chemical Staff had failed
to work the formulas I had given them and this psychic manipulator had
been sent in here to filch the true formulas from my brain with his
devilish art. I knew nothing of what progress the Germans might have
made with hypnotism, but unless they had gone further than had the outer
world, now that I was on my guard, I believed myself to be safe.
But there was yet one danger. I might be trapped in my sleep by an
induced somnambulistic conversation. Happily I was fairly well posted on
such things and believed that I could guard against that also. But the
fear of the thing made me so nervous that I did not sleep all of the
The doctor, evidently a keen observer, must have detected that fact from
the sound of my breathing, for the lights were turned out and we slept
in the pitchy blackness that only a windowless room can create.
"You did not sleep well," he remarked, as we breakfasted.
But I made light of his solicitous concern, and we passed another day in
As the sleeping period drew again near, the doctor said, "I will leave
you tonight, for I fear my presence disturbs you because you
misinterpret my purpose in observing you."
As the doctor departed, I noted that the mechanism of the hinges and the
lock of the door were so perfect that they gave forth no sound. I was
very drowsy and soon retired, but before I went to sleep I practised
snapping off and on the light from the switch at the side of my bed.
Then I repeated over and over to myself--"I will awake at the first
sound of a voice."
This thought ingrained in my subconscious mind proved my salvation. I
must have been sleeping some hours. I was dreaming of Marguerite. I saw
her standing in an open meadow flooded with sunlight; and heard her
voice as if from afar. I walked towards her and as the words grew more
distinct I knew the voice was not Marguerite's. Then I awoke.
I did not stir but lay listening. The voice was speaking monotonously
and the words I heard were the words of the protium formulas, the false
ones I had given the Chemical Staff.
"But these formulas are not correct," purred the voice, "of course, they
are not correct. I gave them to the Staff, but they will never know the
real ones--Yes, the real ones--What are the real ones? Have I
forgotten--? No, I shall never forget. I can repeat them now." Then the
voice began again on one of the fake formulas. But when it reached the
point where the true formula was different, it paused; evidently the
Chemical Staff had found out where the difficulty lay. And so the voice
had paused, hoping my sleeping mind would catch up the thread and supply
the missing words. But instead my arm shot quickly to the switch. The
solicitous Doctor Boehm, flooded with a blaze of light, glared
blinkingly as I leaped from the bed.
"Oh, I was asleep all right," I said, "but I awoke the instant I heard
you speak, just as I had assured myself that I would do before I fell
asleep. Now what else have you in your bag of tricks?"
"I only came--" began the doctor.
"Yes, you only came," I shouted, "and you knew nothing about the work of
the Chemical Staff on my formulas. Now see here, doctor, you had your
try and you have failed. Your diagnosis of my mental condition is just
as much a fraud as the formulas on which the Chemical Staff have been
wasting their time--only it is not so clever. I fooled them and you have
not fooled me. Waste no more time, but go back and report to His Majesty
that your little tricks have failed."
"I shall do that," said Boehm. "I feared you from the start; your mind
is really an extraordinary one. But where," he said, "did you learn how
to guard yourself so well against my methods? They are very secret. My
art is not known even to physicians."
"It is known to me," I said, "so run along and get your report ready."
The doctor shook my hand with an air of profound respect and took his
leave. This time I balanced a chair overhanging the edge of a table so
that the opening of the door would push it off, and I lay down and
I was left alone in my prison until late the next day. Then came a guard
who conducted me before His Majesty. None of the Chemical Staff was
present. In fact there was no one with the Emperor but a single
His Majesty smiled cordially. "It was fitting, Herr von Armstadt, for me
to order your confinement for your demand was audacious; not that what
you asked was a matter of importance, but you should have made the
request in writing and privately and not before the Chemical Staff. For
that breach of etiquette I had to humiliate you that Royal dignity might
be preserved. As for the fact that you kept the formulas secret, none
need know that but the Chemical Staff and they will have nothing further
to say since you made fools of them." His Majesty laughed.
"As for the request you made, I have decided to grant it. Nor do I blame
you for making it. The Princess Marguerite is a very beautiful girl. She
is waiting now nearby. I should have sent for her sooner, but it was
necessary to make an investigation regarding her birth. The unfortunate
Princess Fedora never confessed the father. But I have arranged that, as
you shall see."
The Emperor now pressed his signal button and a door opened and
Marguerite was ushered into the room. I started in fear as I saw that
she was accompanied by Dr. Zimmern. What calamity of discovery and
punishment, I wondered, had my daring move brought to the secret rebel
against the rule of the Hohenzollern?
Marguerite stepped swiftly toward me and gave me her hand. The look in
her eyes I interpreted as a warning that I was not to recognize Zimmern.
So I appeared the stranger while the secretary introduced us.
"Dr. Zimmern," said His Majesty, "was physician to Princess Fedora at
the time of the birth of the Princess Marguerite. She confessed to him
the father of her child. It was the Count Rudolph who died unmarried
some years ago. There will be no questions raised. Our society will
welcome his daughter, for both the Count Rudolph and the Princess Fedora
were very popular."
During this speech, Dr. Zimmern sat rigid and stared into space. Then
the secretary produced a document and read a confession to be signed by
Zimmern, testifying to these statements of Marguerite's birth.
Zimmern, his features still unmoved, signed the paper and handed it
again to the secretary.
His Majesty arose and held out his hand to Marguerite. "I welcome you,"
he said, "to the House of Hohenzollern. We shall do our best to atone
for what you have suffered. And to you, Herr von Armstadt, I extend my
thanks for bringing us so beautiful a woman. It is my hope that you will
win her as a wife, for she will grace well the fortune that your great
genius brings to us. But because you have loved her under unfortunate
circumstances I must forbid your marriage for a period of two years.
During that time you will both be free to make acquaintances in Royal
Society. Nothing less than this would be fair to either of you, or to
other women that may seek your fortune or to other men who may seek the
beauty of your princess."
A GODDESS WHO IS SUFFERING FROM OBESITY AND
A BRAVE MAN WHO IS AFRAID OF THE LAW OF AVERAGES
It was not till we had reached Marguerite's apartment that Zimmern
spoke. Then he and Marguerite both embraced me and cried with joy.
"Ah, Armstadt," said the old doctor, "you have done a wonderful thing, a
wonderful thing, but why did you not warn us?"
"Yes," I stammered, "I know. You mean the books. It worried me, but, you
see, I did not plan this thing. I did not know what I should do. It came
to me like a flash as the Emperor was conferring the honours upon me. I
had hoped to use my power to make him do my bidding, and yet we had
contrived no way to use that power in furtherance of our great plans to
free a race; but I could at least use it to free a woman. Let us hope
that it augurs progress to the ultimate goal."
"It was very noble, but it was dangerous," replied Zimmern. "It was only
through a coincidence that we were saved. Herr von Uhl told me that same
day what you had demanded. I saw Hellar immediately and he declared a
raid on Marguerite's apartment. But he came himself with only one
assistant who is in his confidence, and they boxed the books and carted
them off. They will be turned in as contraband volumes, but the report
will be falsified; no one will ever know from whence they came."
"Then the books are lost to you," I said; "of that I am sorry, and I
worried greatly while I was imprisoned."
"Yes," said Zimmern, "we have lost the books, but you have saved
Marguerite. That will more than compensate. For that I can never thank
"And you were called into the matter, not," I said, "as Marguerite's
friend, but as the physician to her mother?"
"They must have looked up the record," replied Zimmern, "but nothing was
said to me. I received only a communication from His Majesty commanding
me as the physician to Marguerite's mother at the time of Marguerite's
birth, to make statement as to her fatherhood."
"But why," I asked, "did you not make this confession before, since it
enabled Marguerite to be restored to her rights?"
The old doctor looked pained at the question. "But you forget," he said,
"that it is the power of your secret and not my confession that has
restored Marguerite. The confession is only a matter of form, to satisfy
the wagging tongues of Royal Society."
"Do you mean," I asked, "that she will not be well received there
because she was born out of wedlock?"
"Not at all," replied Zimmern; "it was the failure to confess the
father, not the fact of her unwedded motherhood, that brought the
punishment. There are many love-children born on the Royal Level and
they suffer only a failure of inheritance of wealth from the father. But
if they be girls of charm and beauty, and if, as Marguerite now stands
credited, they be of rich Royal blood, they are very popular and much
sought after. But without the record of the father they cannot be
admitted into Royal Society, for the record of the blood lines would be
lost, and that, you see, is essential. Social precedent, the value in
the matrimonial market, all rest upon it. Marguerite is indeed
fortunate; with His Majesty's signature attesting my confession, she has
nothing more to fear. But I daresay they shall try their best to win her
from you for some shallow-minded prince."
"But when," I asked, "is she to go? His Majesty seemed very gracious,
but do you realize that I still possess my secret of the protium
"And do you still hesitate to give them up?" asked Marguerite.
"For your freedom, dear, I shall reveal them gladly."
"But," cried Marguerite, "you must not give them up just for me,--if
there is any way you can use them for our great plan."
"Nothing," spoke up Zimmern, "could be gained now by further secrecy but
trouble for us all; and by acceding, both you and Marguerite win your
places on the Royal Level, where you can better serve our cause. That
is, if you are still with us. It may be harder for you, now that you
have won the richest privileges that Germany has to offer, to remember
those who struggle in the darkness."
"But I shall remember," I said, giving him my hand.
"I believe you will," said Zimmern feelingly, "and I know I can count on
Marguerite. You will both have opportunities to see much of the officers
of the Submarine Service. The German race may yet be freed from this
sunless prison, if you can find one among them who can be won to
I reported the next morning to the Chemical Staff, by whom I was treated
with deferential respect. I was immediately installed in my new office,
as Director of the Protium Works. While I set about supervising the
manufacture of apparatus for the new process, other members of the
staff, now furnished with the correct formulas repeated the
demonstration without my assistance.
When the report of this had been made to His Majesty, I received my
insignia of the social privilege of the Royal Level and a copy of the
Royal Society Bulletin announcing Marguerite's restoration to her place
in the House of Hohenzollern, with the title of Princess Marguerite,
Daughter of Princess Fedora and Count Rudolf. The next day a social
secretary from the Royal Level came for Marguerite and conducted her to
the Apartments of the Countess Luise, under whose chaperonage she was to
make her début into Royal Society.
I, also, was furnished with a social secretary, an obsequious but very
wise little man, who took charge of all my affairs outside my chemical
work. Under his guidance I was removed to more commodious quarters and
my wardrobe was supplied with numerous changes all in the uniform of the
Chemical Staff. There was little time to spare from my duties in the
Protium Works, but my secretary, ever alert, snatched upon the odd
moments to coach me in matters of social etiquette and so prepared me to
make my first appearance in Royal Society at the grand ball given by the
Countess Luise in honour of Marguerite's début.
Despite the assiduous coaching of my secretary, my ignorance must have
been delightfully amusing to the royal idlers who had little other
thought or purpose in life than this very round of complicated
nothingness. But if I was a blundering amateur in all this, they were
not so much discourteous as envious. They knew that I had won my
position by my achievements as a chemist and in a vague way they
understood that I had saved the empire from impending ruin, and for this
achievement I was lionized.
The women rustled about me in their gorgeous gowns and plied me with
foolish questions which I had better sense than to try to answer with
the slightest degree of truth. But their power of sustained interest in
such weighty matters was not great and soon the conversation would drift
away, especially if Marguerite was about, when the talk would turn to
the romance of her restoration.
One group of vivacious ladies discussed quite frankly with Marguerite
the relative advantages of a husband of intellectual genius as compared
with one of a high degree of royal blood. Some contended that the added
prospect of superior intelligence in the children would offset the
lowering of their degree of Hohenzollern blood. The others argued quite
as persistently that the "blood" was the better investment.
Through such conversation I learned of the two clans within the Royal
House. The one prided themselves wholly in the high degree of their
Hohenzollern blood; the other, styling themselves "Royal Intellectuals"
because of a greater proportion of outside blood lines, were quite as
proud of the fact that, while possessed of sufficient royal blood to be
in "the divinity," they inherited supposedly greater intelligence from
their mundane ancestors. This latter group, to make good their claims,
made a great show of intellectuality, and cultivated most persistently a
dilletante dabbling into all sorts of scientific and artistic matters.
Because of Marguerite's high credit in Royal blood she was courted by
"purists" by whom I was only tolerated on her account. On the other
hand, the "intellectuals" considered me as a great asset for their cause
and glorified particularly in the prospects of marriage of an outside
scientist to an eighty-degree Hohenzollern princess. This rivalry of the
clans of Royal Society made us much sought after and I was flooded with
It did not take me long to discover, however, that the reason for my
popularity was not altogether a matter of respect for my intellectual
genius. I had at first been inclined to accept all invitations,
innocently supposing that I was being fêted as an honorary guest. But my
social secretary advised against this; and, when he began bringing me
checks to sign, I realized that the social privileges of Royal Society
included the honour of paying the bills for one's own entertainment.
I had already arranged with my banker that a fourth of my income be
turned over to Marguerite until her marriage, for she was without income
of her own, and it was upon my petition that she had been restored to
the Royal Level. At my banker's suggestion I had also made over ten
thousand marks a month to the Countess, under whose motherly wing
Marguerite was being sheltered. I therefore soon discovered that my
income of a million marks a year would be absorbed quite easily by Royal
Society. The entire system appeared to me rather sordid, but such
matters were arranged by bankers and secretaries and the principals were
supposed to be quite innocent of any knowledge of, or concern for,
The Countess Luise, who was permitted to entertain so lavishly at my
expense, was playing for the favour of both of the opposing social
clans. Possessing a high degree of Hohenzollern blood she stood well
with the purists. But her income was not all that could be desired, so
she had adroitly discovered in her only son a touch of intellectual
genius, and the young man quite dutifully had become a maker of picture
plots, hoping by this distinction to win as a wife one of the daughters
of some wealthy intellectual interloper. At first I had feared the
Countess had designs upon Marguerite as a wife for her son, but as
Marguerite had no income of her own I saw that in this I was mistaken,
and I developed a feeling of genuine friendliness for the plump and
"Do you know what I was reading last night?" I remarked one evening, as
I chatted with Marguerite and her chaperone.
"Some work on obesity, I hope," sparkled the Countess. Like many of the
House of Hohenzollern, among whom there was no weight control, she
carried a surplus of adipose tissue not altogether consistent
"No, indeed," I said gravely. "Nothing about your material being, but a
treatise upon your spiritual nature. I was reading an old school book
that I found among my forgotten relics--a book about the Divinity of the
House of Hohenzollern."
"Oh, how jolly!" chuckled the Countess. "How very funny that I never
thought before that you, Herr von Armstadt, were once taught all those
"And once believed them too," I lied.
"Oh, dear me," replied the Countess, with a ponderous sigh, "so I
suppose you did. And what a shock I must have been to you with an eighty
"You are not quite Junoesque," I admitted.
"The more reason you should use your science, Herr Chemist, to aid me to
recover my goddess form."
"What are you folks talking about?" interrupted Marguerite.
"About our divinity, my dear," replied Luise archly.
"But do you feel that it is really necessary," I asked, "that such
fables should be put into the helpless minds of children?"
"It surely must be. Suppose your own heredity had proven tricky--it does
sometimes, you know--and you had been found incapable of scientific
thought. You would have been deranked and perhaps made a record
clerk--no personal reflections, but such things do happen--and if you
now were filing cards all day you would surely be much happier if you
could believe in our divinity. Why else would you submit to a loveless
life and the dull routine of toil? Did not all the ancients, and do not
all the inferior races now, have objects of religious worship?"
"But the other races," I said, "do not worship living people but
spiritual divinities and the sainted dead.
"Quite so," replied the over-plump goddess, "but that is why their
_kulturs_ are so inefficient. Surely the worship was useless to the
spirits and the dead, whereas we find it quite profitable to be
worshipped. But for this wonderful doctrine of the divinity of the blood
of William the Great we should be put to all sorts of inconveniences."
"You might even have to work," I ventured.
The Countess bestowed on me one of her most bewitching smiles. "My dear
Herr Chemist," she said in sugary tones, "you with your intellectual
genius can twit us on our psychic lacks and we must fall back on the
divine blood of our Great Ancestor--but would you really wish the slaves
of dull toil to think it as human as their own?"
"But to me it seems a little gross," I said.
"Not at all; on the contrary, it is a master stroke of science and
efficiency--inferior creatures must worship; they always have and always
will--then why waste the worship?"
My position as director of the protium works soon brought me into
conference with Admiral von Kufner who was Chief of the Submarine Staff.
Von Kufner was in his forties and his manner indicated greater talent
for pomp and ceremony than for administrative work. His grandfather had
been the engineer to whose genius Berlin owed her salvation through the
construction of the submarine tunnel. By this service the engineer had
won the coveted "von," a princely fortune and a wife of the Royal Level.
The Admiral therefore carried Hohenzollern blood in his veins, which,
together with his ample fortune and a distinguished position, made him a
man of both social and official consequence.
It did not take me long to decide that von Kufner was hopeless as a
prospective convert to revolutionary doctrines. Nor did he possess any
great knowledge of the protium mines, for he had never visited them.
Inheriting his position as an honour to his grandfather's genius, he
commanded the undersea vessels from the security of an office on the
Royal Level, for journeys in ice-filled waters were entirely too
dangerous to appeal to one who loved so well the pleasures and
vanities of life.
I had explained to von Kufner the distinctions I had discovered in the
various samples of the ore brought from the mines and the necessity of
having new surveys of the deposits made on the basis of these
discoveries. After he had had time to digest this information, I
suggested that I should myself go to make this survey. But this idea the
Admiral at once opposed, insisting that the trip through the Arctic ice
fields was entirely too dangerous.
"Very well," I replied. "I feel that I could best serve Germany by going
to the Arctic mines in person, but if you think that is unwise, will you
not arrange for me to consult at once with men who have been in the
mines and are familiar with conditions there?"
To this very reasonable request, which was in line with my obvious
duties, no objection could be made and a conference was at once called
of submarine captains and furloughed engineers who had been in the
Arctic ore fields.
I was impressed by the youthfulness of these men, which was readily
explained by the fact that one vessel out of every five sent out was
lost beneath the Arctic ice floes. With an almost mathematical certainty
the men in the undersea service could reckon the years of their lives on
the fingers of one hand.
Although the official business of the conference related to ore deposits
and not to the dangers of the traffic, the men were so obsessed with the
latter fact, that it crept out in their talk in spite of the Admiral's
obvious displeasure at such confession of fear. I particularly marked
the outspoken frankness of one, Captain Grauble, whose vessel was the
next one scheduled to depart to the mines.
I therefore asked Grauble to call in person at my office for the
instructions concerning the ore investigations which were to be
forwarded to the Director of the Mines. Free from the restraining
influence of the Admiral, I was able to lead the Captain to talk freely
of the dangers of his work, and was overjoyed to find him frankly
That I might still further cultivate his acquaintance I withheld some of
the necessary documents; and, using this as a pretext, I later sought
him out at his quarters, which were in a remote and somewhat obscure
part of the Royal Level.
The official nature of my call disposed of, I led the conversation into
social matters, and found no difficulty in persuading the Captain to
talk of his own life. He was a man well under thirty and like most of
his fellows in the service was one of the sons of a branch of the
Hohenzollern family whose declining fortune denied him all hope of
marriage or social life. In the heroic years of his youth he had
volunteered for the submarine service. But now he confessed that he
regretted the act, for he realized that his death could not be long
postponed. He had made his three trips as commander of an
"I have two more trips," declared Captain Grauble. "Such is the prophecy
of statistical facts: five trips is the allotted life of a Captain; it
is the law of averages. It is possible that I may extend that number a
little, but if so it will be an exception. Trusting to exceptions is a
poor philosophy. I do not like it. Sometimes I think I shall refuse to
go. Disgrace, of course,--banishment to the mines. Report my treasonable
utterances if you like. I am prepared for that; suicide is easy
"But is it not rather cowardly, Captain?" I asked, looking him steadily
in the eye.
Grauble flung out his hand with a gesture of disdain. "That is an easy
word for you to pronounce," he sneered. "You have hope to live by, you
are on the upward climb, you aspire to marry into the Royal House and
sire children to inherit your wealth. But I was born of the Royal House,
my father squandered his wealth. My sisters were beautiful and they have
married well. My brother was servile; he has attached himself to the
retinue of a wealthy Baroness. But I was made of better stuff than that.
I would play the hero. I would face danger and gladly die to give Berlin
more life and uphold the House of Hohenzollern in its fat and idle
existence; and for me they have taken hope away!
"Oh, yes, I was proclaimed a hero. The young ladies of this house of
idleness dance with me, but they dare not take me seriously; what one of
them would court the certainty of widowhood without a fortune? So why
should I not tire of their shallow trifling? I find among the girls of
the Free Level more honest love, for they, as I, have no hope. They love
but for the passing hour, and pass on as I pass on, I to death, they to
decaying beauty and an old age of servile slavery."
Surely, I exulted, here is the rebellious and daring soul that Zimmern
and Hellar have sought in vain. Even as they had hoped, I seemed to have
discovered a man of the submarine service who was amenable to
revolutionary ideas. Could I not get him to consider the myriad life of
Berlin in all its barren futility, to grasp at the hope of succour from
a free and merciful world, and then, with his aid, find a way out of
Berlin, a way to carry the message of Germany's need of help to the
Great God of Humanity that dwelt without in the warmth and joy of
The tide of hope surged high within me. I was tempted to divulge at once
my long cherished plan of escape from Berlin. "Why," I asked, thinking
to further sound his sincerity, "if you feel like this, have you never
considered running your craft to the surface during the sea passage and
beaching her on a foreign shore? There at least is life and hope and
"By the Statue of God!" cried Grauble, his body shaking and his voice
quavering, "why do you, in all your hope and comfort here, speak of that
to me? Do you think I have never been tempted to do that very thing? And
yet you call me a coward. Have I not breathed foul air for days, fearful
to poke up our air tube in deserted waters lest by the millionth chance
it might lead to a capture? And yet you speak of deliberate surrender!
Even though I destroyed my charts, the capture of a German submarine in
those seas would set the forces of the outer world searching for the
passage. If they found and blocked the passage I should be guilty of the
destruction of three hundred million lives--Great God! God of
Hohenzollern! God of the World! could this thing be?"
"Captain," I said, placing my hand on the shoulder of the palsied man,
"you and I have great secrets and the burden of great sorrows in common.
It is well that we have found each other. It is well that we have spoken
of these things that shake our souls. You have confessed much to me and
I have much that I shall confess to you. I must see you again before
Grauble gave me his hand. "You are a strange man," he said. "I have met
none before like you. I do not know at what aims you are driving. If you
plotted my disgrace by leading me into these confessions, you have found
me easy prey. But do not credit yourself too much. I have often vowed I
would go to Admiral von Kufner, and say these things to him. But the
formal exterior of that petty pompous man I cannot penetrate. If I have
confessed to you, it is merely because you are a man without that
protecting shield of bristling authority and cold formality. You seemed
merely a man of flesh and blood, despite your decorations, and so I have
talked. What is to be made of it by you or by me I do not know, but I am
not afraid of you."
"I shall leave you now," I said, "for I have pressing duties, but I
shall see you soon again. So calm yourself and get hold of your reason.
I shall want you to think clearly when I talk with you again. Perhaps I
can yet show you a gleam of hope beyond this mathematical law of
averages that rattles the dice of death."
IN WHICH THE TALKING DELEGATE IS ANSWERED BY THE
ROYAL VOICE AND I LEARN THAT LABOUR KNOWS NOT GOD
I had delayed in speaking to Grauble of our revolutionary plans, because
I wished first to arrange a meeting with Zimmern and Hellar and secure
the weight of their calmer minds in initiating Grauble into our plans of
sending a message to the World State authorities. I was prevented from
doing this immediately by difficulties in the Protium Works. Meanwhile
unbeknown to me the sailing date of Grauble's vessel was advanced, and
he departed to the Arctic.
Although my position as Director of the Protium Works had been more of
an honour than an assignment of active duties, I made it my business to
assume the maximum rather than the minimum of the functions of the
office as I wished to learn more of the labour situation in Berlin, of
which as yet I had no comprehensive understanding.
In a general way I understood that German labour differed not only in
being eugenically created as a distinct breed, but that the labour group
was also a very distinct caste economically and politically. The
labourer, being denied access to the Level of Free Women, had no need
for money or bank credit in any form. This seemed to me to reduce him to
a condition of pure slavery--since he received no pay for his services
other than the bare maintenance supplied by the state.
Because of this evidence of economic inferiority, I had at first
supposed that labour was in every way an inferior caste. But in this I
had been gravely mistaken, nor had I been able fully to comprehend my
error until this brewing labour trouble revealed in concrete form the
political superiority of labour. In my failure to comprehend the true
state of affairs I had been a little stupid, for the political basis of
German society is revealed to the seeing eye in the Hohenzollern eagle
emblazoned on the red flag, the emblem of the rule of labour.
Historically I believe this belies the origin of the red flag for it was
first used as the emblem of democratic socialism, a Nineteenth Century
theory of a social order in which all social and economic classes were
to be blended into a true democracy differing somewhat in its economic
organization, but essentially the same politically as the true democracy
which we have achieved in the World State. But with the Bolshevist
régime in Russia after the First World War, the red flag was
appropriated as the emblem of the political supremacy and rule of the
proletariat or labour class.
I make these references to bygone history because they throw light on
the peculiar status of the German Labour Caste, which is possessed of
political superiority combined with social and economic inferiority. It
was the Bolshevist brand of socialism that finally overran Germany in
the era of loose and ineffective rule of the world by the League of
Nations. Though I make no pretence of being an accurate authority on
history, the League of Nations, if I remember rightly, was humanity's
first timid conception of the World State. Rather weakly born, it was
promptly emasculated by the rise in America of a political party founded
on the ideas of a great national hero who had just died. The
obstructionist policy of this party was inherent in its origin, for it
was inspired and held together by the ideas of a dead man, whose
followers could only repeat as their test of faith a phrase that has
come down to us as an idiom--"What would He do?"
"He" being dead could do nothing, neither could he change his mind, but
having left an indelible record of his ideas by the strenuous verbiage
of his virile and inspiring rhetoric, there was no room for doubt. As in
all political and religious faiths founded on the ideas of dead heroes,
this made for solidarity and power and quite prevented any adaptation of
the form of government to the needs of the world that had arisen since
I have digressed here from my theme of the political status of the
German labour caste, but it is fascinating to trace things to their
origin to find the links of the chain of cause and effect. So, if I have
read my history aright, the emasculation of the League of Nations by the
American obstructionists caused, or at least permitted the rise, and
dominance of the Bolshevists in Twentieth-Century Germany. Had the
Germans been democrats at heart the pendulum would have swung back as it
did with other peoples, and been stayed at the point of equilibrium
which we recognized as the stable mean of democracy.
But in the old days before the modern intermingling of the races it
seems that there were certain tastes that had become instinctive in
racial groups. Thus, just as the German stomach craved the rich flavour
of sausage, so the German mind craved the dazzling show of Royal
flummery. Had it not been for this the First World War could have never
been, for the socialists of that time were bitterly opposed to war and
Germany was the world's greatest stronghold of socialism, yet when their
beloved imperial poser, William the Great, called for war the German
socialists, with the exception of a few whom they afterwards murdered,
went forth to war almost without protest.
When I first began to hear of the political rights of Labour, I went to
my friend Hellar and asked for an explanation.
"Is not the chain of authority absolute," I asked, "up through the
industrial organization direct to the Emperor and so to God himself?"
"But," said Hellar, "the workers do not believe in God!"
"What," I stammered, "workers not believe in God! It is impossible. Have
not the workers simple trusting minds?"
"Certainly," said Hellar, "it is the natural mind of man! Scepticism,
which is the basis of scientific reasoning, is an artificial thing,
first created in the world under the competitive economic order when it
became essential to self-preservation in a world of trade based on
deceit. In our new order we have had difficulty in maintaining enough of
it for scientific purposes even in the intellectual classes. There is no
scepticism among the labourers now, I assure you. They believe as easily
as they breathe."
"Then how," I demanded in amazement, "does it come that they do not
believe in God?"
"Because," said Hellar, "they have never heard of God.
"The labourer does not know of God because we have restored God since
the perfection of our caste system, and hence it was easy to promulgate
the idea among the intellectuals and not among the workers. It was
necessary to restore God for the intellectuals in order to give them
greater respect for the power of the Royal House, but the labourers need
no God because they believe themselves to be the source from which the
Royal House derives its right to rule. They believe the Emperor to be
their own servant ruling by their permission."
"The Emperor a servant to labour!" I exclaimed; "this is absurd."
"Certainly," said Hellar; "why should it be otherwise? We are an absurd
people, because we have always laughed at the wrong things. Still this
principle is very old and has not always been confined to the Germans.
After the revolutions in the Twentieth Century the American plutocrats
employed poverty-stricken European nobility for servants and exalted
them to high stations and obeyed them explicitly in all social matters
with which their service was concerned.
"The labourers restored William III because they wished to have an
exalted servant. He led them to war and became a hero. He reorganized
the state and became their political servant, also their emperor and
their tyrant. It is not an impossible relation, for it is not unlike the
relation between the mother and the child or between a man and his
mistress. And yet it is different, more formal, with functions
"The Emperor is the administrative head of the government and we
intellectuals are merely his hirelings. We are merely the feathers of
the Royal eagle, our colour is black, we have no part in the red blood
of human brotherhood, we are outcasts from the socialistic labour
world--for we receive money compensation to which labourers would not
stoop. But labour owns the state. This roof of Berlin over our heads and
all that is therein contained, is the property of the workers who
I shook my head in mute admission of my lack of comprehension.
"And who," asked Hellar, "did you think owned Berlin?"
I confessed that I had never thought of that.
"Few of our intellectual class have ever thought of that," replied
Hellar, "unless they are well read in political history. But at the time
of the Hohenzollern restoration labour owned all property in true
communal ownership. They did not release it to the Royal House, but
merely turned over the administration of the property to the Emperor as
These belated explanations of the fundamental ideas of German society
quite confused and confounded me, though Hellar seemed in no wise
surprised at my ignorance, since as a chemist I had originally been
supposed to know only of atoms and valences and such like matters.
Seeking a way out of these contradictions I asked: "How is it then that
labour is so powerless, since you say that it owns the state, and even
the Emperor rules by its permission?"
"Napoleon--have you ever heard of him?"
"Yes," I admitted--and then recalling my rôle as a German chemist I
hastened to add--"Napoleon was a directing chemist who achieved a plan
for increasing the food supply in his day by establishing the sugar beet
"Is that so?" exclaimed Hellar. "I didn't know that. I thought he was
only an Emperor--anyway, Napoleon said that if you tell men they are
equal you can do as you please with them. So when William III was
elected to the throne by labour, he insisted that they retain the power
and re-elect him every five years. He was very popular because he
invented the armoured city--our new Berlin--some day I will tell you of
that--and so of course he was re-elected, and his son after him. Though
most of the intellectuals do not know that it exists the ceremony of
election is a great occasion on the labour levels. The Emperor speaks
all day through the horns and on the picture screens. The workers think
he is actually speaking, though of course it is a collection of old
films and records of the Royal Voice. When they have seen and heard the
speeches, the labourers vote, and then go back to their work and are
"But suppose they should sometime fail to re-elect him?"
"No danger," said Hellar; "there is only one name on the ballot and the
ballots are dumped into the paper mill without inspection."
"Most extraordinary," I exclaimed.
"Most ordinary," contradicted Hellar; "it is not even an exclusively
German institution; we have merely perfected it. Voting everywhere is a
very useful device in organized government. In the cruder form used in
democracies there were two or more candidates. It usually made little
difference which was elected; but the system was imperfect because the
voters who voted for the candidate which lost were not pleased. Then
there was the trouble of counting the ballots. We avoid all this."
"It is all very interesting," I said, "but who is the real authority?"
"Ah," said Hellar, "this matter of authority is one of our most subtle
conceptions. The weakness of ancient governments was in the fact that
the line of authority was broken. It came somewhere to an end. But now
authority flows up from labour to the Emperor and then descends again to
labour through the administrative line of which we are one link. It is
an unbroken circuit."
But I was still unsatisfied, for it annoyed me not to be able to
understand the system of German politics, as I had always prided myself
that, for a scientist, I understood politics remarkably well.
I had gone to Hellar for enlightenment because I was gravely alarmed
over the rumours of a strike among the labourers in the Protium Works. I
had read in the outside world of the murder and destruction of these
former civil wars of industry. With a working population so cruelly held
to the treadmill of industrial bondage the idea of a strike conjured up
in my fancy the beginning of a bloody revolution. With so vast a
population so utterly dependent upon the orderly processes of industry
the possible terrors of an industrial revolution were horrible beyond
imagining; and for the moment all thoughts of escape, or of my own plans
for negotiating the surrender of Berlin to the World State, were swept
aside by the stern responsibilities that devolved upon me as the
Director of Works wherein a terrible strike seemed brewing.
The first rumour of the strike of the labourers in the Protium Works had
come to me from the Listening-in-Service. Since Berlin was too
complicated and congested a spot for wireless communication to be
practical, the electrical conduct of sound was by antiquated means of
metal wires. The workers' Free Speech Halls were all provided with
receiving horns by which they made their appeals to His Majesty, of
which I shall speak presently. These instruments were provided with
cut-offs in the halls. They had been so designed by the electrical
engineers, who were of the intellectual caste, that not even the workers
who installed and repaired them knew that the cut-offs were a blind and
that the Listening-in-Service heard every word that was said at their
secret meetings, when all but workers were, by law and custom, excluded
from the halls.
And so the report came to me that the workers were threatening strike.
Their grievance came about in this fashion. My new process had reduced
the number of men needed in the works. This would require that some of
the men be transferred to other industries. But the transfer was a slow
process, as all the workers would have to be examined anatomically and
their psychic reflexes tested by the labour assignment experts and those
selected re-trained for other labour. That work was proceeding
slowly, for there was a shortage of experts because some similar need of
transfers existed in one of the metal industries. Moreover, my labour
psychologist considered it dangerous to transfer too many men, as they
were creatures of habit, and he advised that we ought merely to cease to
take on new workers, but wait for old age and death to reduce the number
of our men, meanwhile retaining the use of the old extraction process in
part of the works.
"Impossible," I replied, "unless you would have your rations cut and the
city put on a starvation diet. Do you not know that the reserve store of
protium that was once enough to last eight years is now reduced to less
than as many months' supply?"
"That is none of my affair," said the labour psychologist; "these
chemical matters I do not comprehend. But I advise against these
transfers, for our workers are already in a furor about the change of
operations in the work."
"But," I protested, "the new operations are easier than the old; besides
we can cut down the speed of operations, which ought to help you take
care of these surplus men."
"Pardon, Herr Chief," returned the elderly labour psychologist, "you are
a great chemist, a very great chemist, for your invention has upset the
labour operation more than has anything that ever happened in my long
experience, but I fear you do not realize how necessary it is to go slow
in these matters. You ask men who have always opened a faucet from left
to right to now open one that moves in a vertical plane. Here, I will
show you; move your arm so; do you not see that it takes
"Yes, of course, but what of it? The solution flows faster and the
operation is easier."
"It is easy for you to say that; for you or me it would make no
difference since our muscles have all been developed indiscriminately."
"But what are your labour gymnasiums for, if not to develop all
"Now do not misunderstand me. I serve as an interpreter between the
minds of the workers and your mind as Director of the Works. As for the
muscles developed in the gymnasium, those were developed for sport and
not for labour. But that is not the worst of it; you have designed the
new benches so low that the mixers must stoop at their work. It is
"Good God," I cried, "what became of the stools? The mixers are to sit
down--I ordered two thousand stools."
"That I know, Herr Chief, but the equipment expert consulted me about
the matter and I countermanded the order. It would never do. I did not
consult you, it is true, but that was merely a kindness. I did not wish
to expose your lack of knowledge, if I may call it such."
"Call it what you please," I snapped, for at the time I thought my
labour psychologist was a fool, "but get those stools, immediately."
"But it would never do."
"Because these men have always stood at their work."
"But why can they not sit down now?"
"Because they never have sat down."
"Do they not sit down to eat?"
"Yes, but not to work. It is very different. You do not understand the
psychic immobility of labour. Habits grow stronger as the mentality is
simplified. I have heard that there are animals in the zoological garden
that still perform useless operations that their remote ancestors
required in their jungle life."
"Then do you infer that these men who must stand at their work inherited
the idea from their ancestors?"
"That is a matter of eugenics. I do not know, but I do know that we are
preparing for trouble with these changes. Still I hope to work it out
without serious difficulty, if you do not insist on these transfers.
When workmen have already been forced to change their habitual method of
work and then see their fellows being removed to other and still
stranger work it breeds dangerous unrest."
"One thing is certain," I replied; "we cannot delay the installation of
the new method; as fast as the equipment is ready the new operation must
replace the old."
"But the effect of that policy will be that there will not be enough
work, and besides the work is, as you say, lighter and that will result
in the cutting down of the food rations."
"But I have already arranged that," I said triumphantly; "the Rationing
Bureau have adjusted the calorie standards so that the men will get as
much food as they have been used to."
"What! you have done that?" exclaimed the labour psychologist; "then
there will be trouble. That will destroy the balance of the food supply
and the expenditure of muscular energy and the men will get fat. Then
the other men will accuse them of stealing food and we shall have
"A moment ago," I smiled, "you told me I did not know your business. Now
I will tell you that you do not know mine. We ordered special food
bulked up in volume; the scheme is working nicely; you need not worry
about that. As for the other matter, this surplus of men, it seems to me
that the only thing is to cut down the working hours temporarily until
the transfers can be made."
The psychologist shook his head. "It is dangerous," he said, "and very
unusual. I advise instead that you have the operation engineers go over
the processes and involve the operations, both to make them more nearly
resemble the old ones, and to add to the time and energy consumption of
"No," I said emphatically, "I invented a more economical process for
this industry and I do not propose to see my invention prostituted in
this fashion. I appreciate your advice, but if we cannot transfer the
workers any faster, then the labour hours must be cut. I will issue the
order tomorrow. This is my final decision."
I was in authority and that settled the matter. The psychologist was
very decent about it and helped me fix up a speech and that next night
the workers were ordered to assemble in their halls and I made my speech
into a transmitting horn. I told them that they had been especially
honoured by their Emperor, who, appreciating their valuable service, had
granted them a part-time vacation and that until further notice their
six-hour shifts were to be cut to four. I further told them that their
rations would not be reduced and advised them to take enough extra
exercise in the gymnasium to offset their shorter hours so they would
not get fat and be the envy of their fellows.
For a time the workers seemed greatly pleased with their shorter hours.
And then, from the Listening-in-Service, came the rumour of the strike.
The first report of the strike gave me no clue to the grievance and I
asked for fuller reports. When these came the next day I was shocked
beyond belief. If I had anticipated anything in that interval of terror
it was that my workers were to strike because their communications had
been shut off or that they were to strike in sympathy for their fellows
and demand that all hours be shortened like their own. But the grievance
was not that. My men were to go on strike for the simple reason that
their hours had been shortened!
The catastrophe once started came with a rush, for when I reached the
office the next day the psychologist was awaiting me and told me that
the strike was on. I rushed out immediately and went down to the works.
The psychologist followed me. As I entered the great industrial
laboratories I saw all the men at their usual places and going through
their usual operations. I turned to my companion who was just coming up,
and said: "What do you mean; I thought you told me the strike was on,
that the men had already walked out?"
"What do you mean by 'walked out'?" he returned, as puzzled as I.
"Walked out of the works," I explained; "away from their duties, quit
"But they have struck. Perhaps you have never seen a strike before, but
do you not see the strike badges?"
And then I looked and saw that every workman wore a tiny red flag, and
the flag bore no imperial eagle.
"It means," I gasped, "that they have renounced the rule of the Royal
House. This is not a strike, this is rebellion, treason!"
"It is the custom," said the labour psychologist, "and as for rebellion
and treason that you speak of I hardly think you ought to call it that
for rebellion and treason are forbidden."
"Then just what does it mean?"
"It means that this particular group of workers have temporarily
withdrawn their allegiance to the Royal House, and they have, in their
own minds, restored the old socialist régime, until they can make
petition to the Emperor and he passes on their grievance. They will do
that in their halls tonight. We, of course, will be connected up and
"Then they are not really on strike?"
"Certainly they are on strike. All strikes are conducted so."
"Then why do they not quit work?"
"But why should they quit work? They are striking because their hours
are already too short--pardon, Herr Chief, but I warned you!
"I think I know what you mean," he added after a pause; "you have
probably read some fiction of old times when the workers went on strike
by quitting work."
"Yes, exactly. I suppose that is where I did get my ideas; and that is
now forbidden--by the Emperor?"
"Not by the Emperor, for you see these men wear the flags without the
eagle. They at present do not acknowledge his authority."
"Then all this strike is a matter of red badges without eagles and
everything else will go on as usual?"
"By no means. These men are striking against the descending authority
from the Royal House. They not only refuse to wear the eagle until their
grievance is adjusted but they will refuse to accept further education,
for that is a thing that descends from above. If you will go now to the
picture halls, where the other shift should be, you will find the halls
all empty. The men refuse to go to the moving pictures."
That night we "listened in." A bull-throated fellow, whom I learned was
the Talking Delegate, addressed the Emperor, and much to my surprise I
thought I heard the Emperor's own voice in reply, stating that he was
ready to hear their grievance.
Then the bull voice of the Talking Delegate gave the reason for the
strike: "The Director of the Works, speaking for your Majesty, has
granted us a part time vacation, and shortened our hours from six to
four. We thank you for this honour but we have decided we do not like
it. We do not know what to do during those extra two hours. We had our
games and amusements but we had our regular hours for them. If we play
longer we become tired of play. If we sleep longer we cannot sleep as
well. Moreover we are losing our appetite and some of us are afraid to
eat all our portions for fear we will become fat. So we have decided
that we do not like a four-hour day and we have therefore taken the
eagles off our flags and will refuse to replace them or to go to the
educational pictures until our hours are restored to the six-hour day
that we have always had."
And now the Emperor's voice replied that he would take the matter under
consideration and report his decision in three days and, that meanwhile
he knew he could trust them to conduct themselves as good socialists who
were on strike, and hence needed no king.
The next day the psychologist brought a representative of the
Information Staff to my office and together we wrote the reply that the
Emperor was to make. It would be necessary to concede them the full six
hours and introduce the system of complicating the labour operations to
make more work. Much chagrined, I gave in, and called in the motion
study engineers and set them to the task. Meanwhile the Royal Voice was
sent for and coached in the Emperor's reply to the striking workmen, and
a picture film of the Emperor, timed to fit the length of the speech,
was ordered from stock.
The Royal Voice was an actor by birth who had been trained to imitate
His Majesty's speech. This man, who specialized in the Emperor's
speeches to the workers, prided himself that he was the best Royal Voice
in Berlin and I complimented him by telling him that I had been deceived
by him the evening before. But considering that the workers, never
having heard the Emperor's real voice, would have no standard of
comparison, I have never been able to see the necessity of the accuracy
of his imitation, unless it was on the ground of art for art's sake.
THE DIVINE DESCENDANTS OF WILLIAM THE GREAT GIVE A BENEFIT
FOR THE CANINE GARDENS AND PAY TRIBUTE TO THE PIGGERIES
The strike that I had feared would be the beginning of a bloody
revolution had ended with an actor shouting into a horn and the shadow
of an Emperor waving his arms. But meanwhile Capt. Grauble, on whom I
staked my hopes of escape from Berlin, had departed to the Arctic and
would not return for many months. That he would return I firmly
believed; statistically the chances were in his favour as this was his
fourth trip, and hope was backing the favourable odds of the law of
So I set myself to prepare for that event. My faith was strong that
Grauble could be won over to the cause of saving the Germans by
betraying Germany. I did not even consider searching for another man,
for Grauble was that one rare man in thousands who is rebellious and
fearless by nature, a type of which the world makes heroes when their
cause wins and traitors when it fails--a type that Germany had all but
eliminated from the breed of men.
But, if I were to escape to the outer world through Grauble's
connivance, there was still the problem of getting permission to board
the submarine, ostensibly to go to the Arctic mines. Even in my exalted
position as head of the protium works I could not learn where the
submarine docks or the passage to them was located. But I did learn
enough to know that the way was impenetrable without authoritative
permission, and that thoughts of escape as a stowaway were not worth
considering. I also learned that Admiral von Kufner had sole authority
to grant permission to make the Arctic trip.
The Admiral had promptly turned down my first proposal to go to the
Arctic ore fields, and had by his pompous manner rebuffed the attempts I
made to cultivate his friendship through official interviews. I
therefore decided to call on Marguerite and the Countess Luise to see
what chance there was to get a closer approach to the man through social
avenues. The Countess was very obliging in the matter, but she warned me
with lifted finger that the Admiral was a gay bachelor and a worshipper
of feminine charms, and that I might rue the day I suggested his being
invited into the admiring circle that revolved about Marguerite. But I
laughingly disclaimed any fears on that score and von Kufner was bidden
to the next ball given by the Countess.
Marguerite was particularly gracious to the Admiral and speedily led him
into the inner circle that gathered informally in the salon of the
Countess Luise. I made it a point to absent myself on some of these
occasions, for I did not want the Admiral to guess the purpose that lay
behind this ensnaring of him into our group.
And yet I saw much of Marguerite, for I spent most of my leisure in the
society of the Royal Level, where thought, if shallow, was comparatively
free. I took particular pleasure in watching the growth of Marguerite's
mind, as the purely intellectual conceptions she had acquired from Dr.
Zimmern and his collection of books adjusted itself to the absurd
realities of the celestial society of the descendants of William
It may be that charity is instinctive in the heart of a good woman, or
perhaps it was because she had read the Christian Bible; but whatever
the origin of the impulse, Marguerite was charitably inclined and wished
to make personal sacrifice for the benefit of other beings less well
situated than herself. While she was still a resident of the Free Level
she had talked to me of this feeling and of her desire to help others.
But the giving of money or valuables by one woman to another was
strictly forbidden, and Marguerite had not at the time possessed more
than she needed for her own subsistence. But now that she was relatively
well off, this charitable feeling struggled to find expression. Hence
when she had learned of the Royal Charity Society she had straightway
begged the Countess to present her name for membership, without stopping
to examine into the detail of the Society's activities.
The Society was at that time preparing to hold a bazaar and sent out
calls for contributions of cast off clothing and ornaments. Marguerite
as yet possessed no clothes or jewelry of Royal quality except the
minimum which the demands of her position made necessary; and so she
timidly asked the Countess if her clothing which she had worn on the
Free Level would suffice as gifts of charity. The Countess had assured
her that it would do nicely as the destination of all the clothing
contributed was for the women of the Free Level. Thinking that an
opportunity had at last arisen for her to express her compassion for the
ill-favoured girls of her own former level, Marguerite hastened to
bundle up such presentable gowns as she had and sent them to the bazaar
by her maid.
Later she had attended the meeting of the society when the net results
of the collections were announced. To her dismay she found that the
clothing contributed had been sold for the best price it would bring to
the women of the Free Level and that the purpose of the sacrifices, of
that which was useless to the possessors but valuable to others, was the
defraying of the expense of extending the romping grounds for the dogs
of the charitably maintained canine garden.
Marguerite was vigorously debating the philosophy of charity with the
young Count Rudolph that evening when I called. She was maintaining that
human beings and not animals should be the recipients of charity and the
young Count was expounding to her the doctrine of the evil effects of
charity upon the recipient.
"Moreover," explained Count Rudolph, "there are no humans in Berlin that
need charity, since every class of our efficiently organized State
receives exactly what it should receive and hence is in need of nothing.
Charity is permissible only when poverty exists."
"But there is poverty on the Free Level," maintained Marguerite; "many
of the ill-favoured girls suffer from hunger and want better clothes
than they can buy."
"That may be," said the Count, "but to permit them gifts of charity
would be destructive of their pride; moreover, there are few women on
the Royal Level who would give for such a purpose."
"But surely," said Marguerite, "there must be somewhere in the city,
other women or children or even men to whom the proceeds of these gifts
would mean more than it does to dogs."
"If any group needed anything the state would provide it," repeated the
"Then why," protested Marguerite, "cannot the state provide also for the
dogs, or if food and space be lacking why are these dogs allowed to
breed and multiply?"
"Because it would be cruel to suppress their instincts."
Marguerite was puzzled by this answer, but with my more rational mind I
saw a flaw in the logic of this statement. "But that is absurd," I said,
"for if their number were not checked in some fashion, in a few decades
the dogs would overswarm the city."
It was now the Count's turn to look puzzled. "You have inferred an
embarrassing question," he stated, "one, in fact, that ought not to be
answered in the presence of a lady, but since the Princess Marguerite
does not seem to be a lover of dogs, I will risk the explanation. The
Medical Level requires dogs for purposes of scientific research. Since
the women are rarely good mathematicians, it is easily possible in this
manner to keep down the population of the Canine Garden."
"But the dogs required for research," I suggested, "could easily be bred
in kennels maintained for that purpose."
"So they could," said the Count, "but the present plan serves a double
purpose. It provides the doctors with scalpel practise and it also
amuses the women of the Royal House who are very much in need of
amusement since we men are all so dull."
"Woman's love," continued Rudolph, waxing eloquent, "should have full
freedom for unfoldment. If it be forcibly confined to her husband and
children it might burst its bounds and express too great an interest in
other humans. The dogs act as a sort of safety valve for this instinct
The facetious young Count saw from Marguerite's horror-stricken face
that he was making a marked impression and he recklessly continued: "The
keepers at the Canine Gardens understand this perfectly. When funds
begin to run low they put the dogs in the outside pens on short rations,
and the brutes do their own begging; then we have another bazaar and
everybody is happy. It is a good system and I would advise you not to
criticize it since the institution is classic. Other schemes have been
tried; at one time women were permitted to knit socks for soldiers--we
always put that in historical pictures--but the socks had to be melted
up again as felted fibre is much more durable; and then, after the women
were forbidden to see the soldiers, they lost interest. But the dog
charity is a proven institution and we should never try to change
anything that women do not want changed since they are the conservative
bulwark of society and our best protection against the danger of
Blocked in her effort to relieve human poverty by the discovery that its
existence was not recognized, Marguerite's next adventure in doing good
in the world was to take up the battle against ignorance by contributing
to the School for the Education of Servants.
The Servant problem in Berlin, and particularly on the Royal Level, had
been solved so far as male servants were concerned, for these were a
well recognized strain eugenically bred as a division of the
intellectual caste. I had once taken Dr. Zimmern to task on this
classification of the servant as an intellectual.
"The servant is not intellectual creatively," the Eugenist replied, "yet
it would never do to class him as Labour since he produces nothing.
Moreover, the servant's mind reveals the most specialized development of
the most highly prized of all German intellectual characteristics
"It might interest you to know," continued Zimmern, "that we use this
servant strain in outcrossing with other strains when they show a
tendency to decline in the virtue of obedience. If I had not chosen to
exempt you from paternity when your rebellious instincts were reported
to me, and the matter had been turned over to our Remating Board they
might have reassigned you to mothers of the servant class. This practice
of out-crossing, though rare, is occasionally essential in all
"Then do you mean," I asked in amazement, "that the highest intellectual
strains have servant blood in them?"
"Certainly. And why not, since obedience is the crowning glory of the
German mind? Even Royal blood has a dash of the servant strain."
"You mean, I suppose, from illegitimate children?"
"Not at all; that sort of illegitimacy is not recognized. I mean from
the admission of servants into Royal Society, just as you have been
"And why impossible, since obedience is our supreme racial virtue? Go
consult your social register. The present Emperor, I believe, has
admitted none, but his father admitted several and gave them princely
incomes. They married well and their children are respected, though I
understand they are not very much invited out for the reason that they
are poor conversationalists. They only speak when spoken to and then
answer, 'Ja, Mein Herr.' I hear they are very miserable; since no one
commands them they must be very bored with life, as they are unable to
think of anything to do to amuse themselves. In time the trait will be
modified, of course, since the Royal blood will soon predominate, and
the strongest inherent trait of Royalty is to seek amusement."
This specialized class of men servants needed little education, for, as
I took more interest in observing after this talk with Zimmern, they
were the most perfectly fitted to their function of any class in Berlin.
But there was also a much more numerous class of women servants on the
Royal Level. These, as a matter of economy, were not specially bred to
the office, but were selected from the mothers who had been rejected for
further maternity after the birth of one or two children. Be it said to
the credit of the Germans that no women who had once borne a child was
ever permitted to take up the profession of Delilah--a statement which
unfortunately cannot be made of the rest of the world. These mothers
together with those who had passed the child bearing age more than
supplied the need for nurses on the maternity levels and teachers in
As a result they swarmed the Royal Level in all capacities of service
for which women are fitted. Originally educated for maternity they had
to be re-educated for service. Not satisfied with the official education
provided by the masculine-ordered state, the women of the Royal Level
maintained a continuation school in the fine art of obedience and the
kindred virtues of the perfect servant.
So again it was that Marguerite became involved in a movement that in no
wise expressed the needs of her spirit, and from which she
The next time she came to me for advice. "I want to do something," she
cried. "I want to be of some use in the world. You saved me from that
awful life--for you know what it would have been for me if Dr. Zimmern
had died or his disloyalty had been discovered--and you have brought me
here where I have riches and position but am useless. I tried to be
charitable, to relieve poverty, but they say there is no poverty to be
relieved. I tried to relieve ignorance, but they will not allow that
either. What else is there that needs to be relieved? Is there no good
I can do?"
"Your problem is not a new one," I replied, thinking of the world-old
experience of the good women yoked to idleness by wealth and position.
"You have tried to relieve poverty and ignorance and find your efforts
futile. There is one thing more I believe that is considered a classic
remedy for your trouble. You can devote yourself to the elimination of
ugliness, to the increase of beauty. Is there no organization devoted to
"There is," returned Marguerite, "and I was about to join it, but I
thought this time I had better ask advice. There is the League to
"Then by all means join," I advised. "It is the safest of all such
efforts, for though poverty may not exist and ignorance may not be
relieved, yet surely Berlin can be more beautiful. But of course your
efforts must be confined to the Royal Level as you do not see the rest
of the city."
So Marguerite joined the League to Beautify Berlin and I became an
auxiliary member much appreciated because of my liberal contributions.
It proved an excellent source of amusement. The League met weekly and
discussed the impersonal aspects of the beauty of the level in open
meetings, while a secret complaint box was maintained into which all
were invited to deposit criticisms of more personal matters. It was
forbidden even in this manner to criticize irremedial ugliness such as
the matter of one's personal form or features, but dress and manners
came within the permitted range and the complaints were regularly mailed
to the offenders. This surprised me a little as I would have thought
that such a practice would have made the League unpopular, but on the
contrary, it was considered the mainstay of the organization, for the
recipient of the complaint, if a non-member, very often joined the
League immediately, hoping thereby to gain sweet revenge.
But aside from this safety valve for the desire to make personal
criticism, the League was a very creditable institution and it was there
that we met the great critics to whose untiring efforts the rare
development of German art was due.
Cut off from the opportunity to appropriate by purchase or capture the
works of other peoples, German art had suffered a severe decline in the
first few generations of the isolation, but in time they had developed
an art of their own. A great abundance of cast statues of white crystal
adorned the plazas and gardens and, being unexposed to dust or rain,
they preserved their pristine freshness so that it appeared they had all
been made the day before. Mural paintings also flourished abundantly and
in some sections the endless facade of the apartments was a
But it was in landscape gardening that German art had made its most
wonderful advancement. Having small opportunity for true architecture
because of the narrow engineering limitations of the city's
construction, talent for architecture had been turned to landscape
gardening. I use the term advisedly for the very absence of natural
landscape within a roofed-in city had resulted in greater development of
the artificial product.
The earlier efforts, few of which remained unaltered, were more inclined
toward imitation of Nature as it exists in the world of sun and rocks
and rain. But, as the original models were forgotten and new generations
of gardeners arose, new sorts of nature were created. Artificial rocks,
artificial soil, artificially bred and cultured plants, were combined in
new designs, unrealistic it is true, but still a very wonderful
development of what might be called synthetic or romantic nature. The
water alone was real and even in some cases that was altered as in the
beautifully dyed rivulets and in the truly remarkable "Fountain of
Blood," dedicated to one of the sons of William the Great--I have
forgotten his name--in honour of his attack upon Verdun in the First
In these wondrous gardens, with the Princess Marguerite strolling by my
side, I spent the happiest hours of my sojourn in Berlin. But my joy was
tangled with a thread of sadness for the more I gazed upon this
synthetic nature of German creation the more I hungered to tell her of,
and to take her to see, the real Nature of the outside world--upon
which, in my opinion, with all due respect to their achievements, the
Germans had not been able to improve.
While the women of the Royal House were not permitted of their own
volition to stray from the Royal Level, excursions were occasionally
arranged, with proper permits and guards. These were social events of
consequence and the invitations were highly prized. Noteworthy among
them was an excursion to the highest levels of the city and to the
The affair was planned by Admiral von Kufner in Marguerite's honour;
for, having spent her childhood elsewhere, she had never experienced the
wonder of this roof excursion so highly prized by Royalty, and for ever
forbidden to all other women and to all but a few men of the teeming
millions who swarmed like larvae in this vast concrete cheese.
The formal invitations set no hour for the excursion as it was
understood that the exact time depended upon weather conditions of which
we would later be notified. When this notice came the hour set was in
the conventional evening of the Royal Level, but corresponding to about
three A.M. by solar time. The party gathered at the suite of the
Countess Luise and numbered some forty people, for whom a half dozen
guides were provided in the form of officers of the Roof Guard. The
journey to our romantic destination took us up some hundred metres in an
elevator, a trip which required but two minutes, but would lead to a
world as different as Mount Olympus from Erebus.
But we did not go directly to the roof, for the hour preferred for that
visit had not yet arrived and our first stop was at the swine levels,
which had so aroused my curiosity and strained belief when I had first
discovered their existence from the chart of my atlas.
As the door of the elevator shaft slid open, a vast squealing and
grunting assaulted our ears. The hours of the swine, like those of their
masters, were not reckoned by either solar or sidereal time, but had
been altered, as experiment had demonstrated, to a more efficient cycle.
The time of our trip was chosen so that we might have this earthly music
of the feeding time as a fitting prelude to the visioning of the
On the visitors' gangway we walked just above the reach of the jostling
bristly backs, and our own heads all but grazed the low ceiling of the
level. To economize power the lights were dim. Despite the masterful
achievement of German cleanliness and sanitation there was a permeating
odour, a mingling of natural and synthetic smells, which added to the
gloom of semi-darkness and the pandemonium of swinish sound produced a
totality of infernal effect that thwarts description.
But relief was on the way for the automatic feed conveyors were rapidly
moving across our section. First we heard a diminution of sound from one
direction, then a hasty scuffling and a happy grunting beneath us and,
as the conveyors moved swiftly on, the squealing receded into the
distance like the dying roar of a retreating storm.
The Chief Swineherd, immaculately dressed and wearing his full quota of
decorations and medals, honoured us with his personal presence. With the
excusable pride that every worthy man takes in his work, he expounded
the scientific achievements and economic efficiency of the swinish world
over which he reigned. The men of the party listened with respect to his
explanations of the accomplishments of sanitation and of the economy of
the cycle of chemical transformation by which these swine were
maintained without decreasing the capacity of the city for human
support. Lastly the Swineherd spoke of the protection that the swine
levels provided against the effects of an occasional penetrating bomb
that chanced to fall in the crater of its predecessor before the damage
could be repaired.
Pursuant to this fact the uppermost swine level housed those unfortunate
animals that were nearest the sausage stage. On the next lower level, to
which we now descended by a spiral stair through a ventilating opening,
were brutes of less advanced ages. On the lowest of the three levels
where special lights were available for our benefit even the women
ceased to shudder and gave expression to ecstatic cries of rapture, as
all the world has ever done when seeing baby beasts pawing contentedly
at maternal founts.
"Is it not all wonderful?" effused Admiral von Kufner, with a sweeping
gesture; "so efficient, so sanitary, so automatic, such a fine example
of obedience to system and order. This is what I call real science and
beauty; one might almost say Germanic beauty."
"But I do not like it," replied Marguerite with her usual candour. "I
wish they would abolish these horrid levels."
"But surely," said the Countess, "you would not wish to condemn us to a
diet of total mineralism?"
"But the Herr Chemist here could surely invent for us a synthetic
sausage," remarked Count Rudolph. "I have eaten vegetarian kraut made of
real cabbage from the Botanical Garden, but it was inferior to the
"Do not make light, young people," spoke up the most venerable member of
our party, the eminent Herr Dr. von Brausmorganwetter, the historian
laureate of the House of Hohenzollern. "It is not as a producer of
sausages alone that we Germans are indebted to this worthy animal. I am
now engaged in writing a book upon the influence of the swine upon
German Kultur. In the first part I shall treat of the Semitic question.
The Jews were very troublesome among us in the days before the
isolation. They were a conceited race. As capitalists, they amassed
fortunes; as socialists they stirred up rebellion; they objected to war;
they would never have submitted to eugenics; they even insisted that we
Germans had stolen their God!
"We tried many schemes to be rid of these troublesome people, and all
failed. Therefore I say that Germany owes a great debt to the noble
animal who rid us of the disturbing presence of the Jews, for when pork
was made compulsory in the diet they fled the country of their
"In the second part of my book I shall tell the story of the founding of
the New Berlin, for our noble city was modelled on the fortified
piggeries of the private estates of William III. In those days of the
open war the enemy bombed the stock farms. Synthetic foods were as yet
imperfectly developed. Protein was at a premium; the emperor did not
like fish, so he built a vast concrete structure with a roof heavily
armoured with sand that he might preserve his swine from the murderous
attacks of the enemy planes.
"It was during the retreat from Peking. The German armies were being
crowded back on every side. The Ray had been invented, but William the
III knew that it could not be used to protect so vast a domain and that
Germany would be penned into narrow borders and be in danger of
extermination by aërial bombardment. In those days he went for rest and
consolation to his estates, for he took great pleasure in his
thoroughbred swine. Some traitorous spy reported his move to the enemy
and a bombing squadron attacked the estates. The Emperor took refuge in
his fortified piggery. And so the great vision came to him.
"I have read the exact words of this thoughts as recorded in his diary
which is preserved in the archives of the Royal Palace: 'As are these
happy brutes, so shall my people be. In safety from the terrors of the
sky--protected from the vicissitudes of nature and the enmity of men, so
shall I preserve them.'
"That was the conception of the armoured city of Berlin. But that was
not all. For the bombardment kept up for days and the Emperor could not
escape. On the fourth day came the second idea--two new ideas in less
than a week! William III was a great thinker.
"Thus he recorded the second inspiration: 'And even as I have bred these
swine, some for bacon and some for lard, so shall the German Blond
Brutes be bred the super-men, some specialized for labour and some
"These two ideas are the foundation of the kultur of our Imperial
Socialism, the one idea to preserve us and the other to re-create us as
the super-race. And both of these ideas we owe to this noble animal. The
swine should be emblazoned with the eagle upon our flag."
As the Historian finished his eulogy, I glanced surreptitiously at the
faces of his listeners, and caught a twinkle in Marguerite's eyes; but
the faces of the others were as serious as graven images.
Finally the Countess spoke: "Do I understand, then, that you consider
the swine the model of the German race?"
"Only of the lower classes," said the aged historian, "but not the House
of Hohenzollern. We are exalted above the necessities of breeding, for
we are divine."
Eyes were now turned upon me, for I was the only one of the company not
of Hohenzollern blood. Unrelieved by laughter the situation was painful.
"But," said Count Rudolph, coming to my rescue, "we also seek safety in
the fortified piggeries."
"Exactly," said the Historian; "so did our noble ancestor."
From the piggeries, we went to the green level where, growing beneath
eye-paining lights, was a matted mass of solid vegetation from which
came those rare sprigs of green which garnished our synthetic dishes.
But this was too monotonous to be interesting and we soon went above to
the Defence Level where were housed vast military and rebuilding
mechanisms and stores. After our guides had shown us briefly about among
these paraphernalia, we were conducted to one of the sloping ramps which
led through a heavily arched tunnel to the roof above.
Marguerite clung close to my arm, quivering with expectancy and
excitement, as we climbed up the sloping passage-way and felt on our
faces the breath of the crisp air of the May night.
The sky came into vision with startling suddenness as we walked out upon
the soft sand blanket of the roof. The night was absolutely clear and my
first impression was that every star of the heavens had miraculously
waxed in brilliancy. The moon, in the last quarter, hung midway between
the zenith and the western horizon. The milky way seemed a floating band
of whitish flame. About us, in the form of a wide crescent, for we were
near the eastern edge of the city, swung the encircling band of
searchlights, but the air was so clear that this stockade of artificial
light beams was too pale to dim the points of light in the
In anticipating this visit to the roof I had supposed it would seem
commonplace to me, and had discussed it very little with Marguerite,
lest I might reveal an undue lack of wonder. But now as I thrilled once
more beneath their holy light, the miracle of unnumbered far-flung
flaming suns stifled again the vanity of human conceit and I stood with
soul unbared and worshipful beneath the vista of incommensurate space
wherein the birth and death of worlds marks the unending roll of time.
And at my side a silent gazing woman stood, contrite and humble and the
thrill and quiver of her body filled me with a joy of wordless delight.
A blundering guide began lecturing on astronomy and pointing out with
pompous gestures the constellations and planets. But Marguerite led me
beyond the sound of his voice. "It is not the time for listening to
talk," she said. "I only want to see."
When the astronomer had finished his speech-making, our party moved
slowly toward the East, where we could just discern the first faint
light of the coming dawn. When we reached the parapet of the eastern
edge of the city's roof, the stars had faded and pale pink streaked the
eastern sky. The guides brought folding chairs from a nearby tunnel way
and most of the party sat down on a hillock of sand, very much as men
might seat themselves in the grandstand of a race course. But I was so
interested in what the dawn would reveal beneath the changing colours of
the sky, that I led Marguerite to the rail of the parapet where we could
look down into the yawning depths upon the surface of German soil.
My first vision over the parapet revealed but a mottled grey. But as the
light brightened the grey land took form, and I discerned a few scraggly
patches of green between the torn masses of distorted soil.
The stars had faded now and only the pale moon remained in the bluing
sky, while below the land disclosed a sad monotony of ruin and waste,
utterly devoid of any constructive work of man.
Marguerite, her gaze fixed on the dawn, was beginning to complain of the
light paining her eyes, when one of the guides hurried by with an open
satchel swung from his shoulders. "Here are your glasses," he said; "put
them on at once. You must be very careful now, or you will injure
We accepted the darkened protecting lenses, but I found I did not need
mine until the sun itself had appeared above the horizon.
"Did you see it so in your vision?" questioned Marguerite, as the first
beams glistened on the surface of the sanded roof.
"This," I replied, "is a very ordinary sunrise with a perfectly
cloudless sky. Some day, perhaps, when the gates of this prison of
Berlin are opened, we will be able to see all the sunrises of my
visions, and even more wonderful ones."
"Karl," she whispered, "how do you know of all these things? Sometimes I
believe you are something more than human, that you of a truth possess
the blood of divinity which the House of Hohenzollern claims."
"No," I answered; "not divinity,--just a little larger humanity, and
some day very soon I am going to tell you more of the source of
She looked at me through her darkened glasses. "I only know," she said,
"that you are wonderful, and very different from other men."
Had we been alone on the roof of Berlin, I could not have resisted the
temptation to tell her then that stars and sun were familiar friends to
me and that the devastated soil that stretched beneath us was but the
wasted skeleton of a fairer earth I knew and loved. But we were
surrounded by a host of babbling sightseers and so the moment passed and
I remained to Marguerite a man of mystery and a seer of visions.
The sun fully risen now, we were led to a protruding observation
platform that permitted us to view the wall of the city below. It was
merely one vast grey wall without interruption or opening in the
Amid the more troubled chaos of the ground immediately below we could
see fragments of concrete blown from the parapet of the roof. The wall
beneath us, we were told, was only of sufficient thickness to withstand
fire of the aircraft guns. The havoc that might be wrought, should the
defence mines ever be forced back and permit the walls of Berlin to come
within range of larger field pieces, was easily imagined. But so long as
the Ray defence held, the massive fort of Berlin was quite impervious to
attacks of the world forces of land and air and the stalemate of war
might continue for other centuries.
With the coming of daylight we had heard the rumbling of trucks as the
roof repairing force emerged to their task. Now that our party had
become tired of gazing through their goggles at the sun, our guides led
us in the direction where this work was in progress. On the way we
passed a single unfilled crater, a deep pit in the flinty quartz sand
that spread a protecting blanket over the solid structure of the roof.
These craters in the sand proved quite harmless except for the labour
involved in their refilling. Further on we came to another, now
half-filled from a spouting pipe with ground quartz blown from some
remote subterranean mine, so to keep up the wastage from wind
Again we approached the edge of the city and this time found more of
interest, for here an addition to the city was under construction. It
was but a single prism, not a hundred metres across, which when
completed would add but another block to the city's area. Already the
outer pillars reached the full height and supported the temporary roof
that offered at least a partial protection to the work in progress
beneath. Though I watched but a few minutes I was awed with the evident
rapidity of the building. Dimly I could see the forms below being swung
into place with a clock-like regularity and from numerous spouts great
streams of concrete poured like flowing lava.
It is at these building sections that the bombs were aimed and here
alone that any effectual damage could be done, but the target was a
small one for a plane flying above the reach of the German guns. The
officer who guided our group explained this to us: these bombing raids
were conducted only at times of particular cloud formations, when the
veil of mist hung thick and low in an even stratum above which the air
was clear. When such formation threatened, the roof of Berlin was
cleared and the expected bombs fell and spent their fury blowing up the
sand. It had been a futile warfare, for the means of defence were equal
to the means of offence.
Our visit to the roof of Berlin was cut short as the sun rose higher,
because the women, though they had donned gloves and veils, were fearful
of sunburn. So we were led back to the covered ramp into the endless
night of the city.
"Have we seen it all?" sighed Marguerite, as she removed her veil and
glasses and gazed back blinkingly into the last light of day.
"Hardly," I said; "we have not seen a cloud, nor a drop of rain nor a
flake of snow, nor a flash of lightning, nor heard a peal of thunder."
Again she looked at me with worshipful adoration. "I forget," she
whispered; "and can you vision those things also?"
But I only smiled and did not answer, for I saw Admiral von Kufner
glaring at me. I had monopolized Marguerite's company for the entire
occasion, and I was well aware that his only reason for arranging this,
to him a meaningless excursion, had been in the hopes of being with her.
But Admiral von Kufner, contending fairly for that share of Marguerite's
time which she deigned to grant him, seemed to bear me no malice; and,
as the months slipped by, I was gratified to find him becoming more
cordial toward me. We frequently met at the informal gatherings in the
salon of the Countess Luise. More rarely Dr. Zimmern came there also,
for by virtue of his office he was permitted the social rights of the
Royal Level. I surmised, however, that this privilege, in his case, had
not included the right to marry on the level, for though the head of the
Eugenic Staff, he had, so far as I could learn, neither wife
But Dr. Zimmern did not seem to relish royal society, for when he
chanced to be caught with me among the members of the Royal House the
flow of his brilliant conversations was checked like a spring in a
drought, and he usually took his departure as soon as it was seemly.
On one of these occasions Admiral von Kufner came in as Zimmern sat
chatting over cups and incense with Marguerite and me, and the Countess
and her son. The doctor dropped quietly out of the conversation, and for
a time the youthful Count Ulrich entertained us with a technical
elaboration of the importance of the love passion as the dominant appeal
of the picture. Then the Countess broke in with a spirited exposition of
the relation of soul harmony to ardent passion.
Admiral von Kufner listened with ill-disguised impatience. "But all this
erotic passion," he interrupted, "will soon again be swept away by the
revival of the greater race passion for world rule."
"My dear Admiral," said the Countess Luise, "your ideas of race passion
are quite proper for the classes who must be denied the free play of the
love element in their psychic life, but your notion of introducing these
ideas into the life of the Royal Level is wholly antiquated."
"It is you who are antiquated," returned the Admiral, "for now the day
is at hand when we shall again taste of danger. His Majesty has--"
"Of course His Majesty has told us that the day is at hand," interrupted
the Countess. "Has not His Majesty always preserved this allegorical
fable? It is part of the formal kultur."
"But His Majesty now speaks the truth," replied the Admiral gravely,
"and I say to you who are so absorbed with the light passions of art and
love that we shall not only taste of danger but will fight again in the
sea and air and on the ground in the outer world. We shall conquer and
rule the world."
"And do you think, Admiral," inquired Marguerite, "that the German
people will then be free in the outer world?"
"They will be free to rule the outer world," replied the Admiral.
"But I mean," said Marguerite calmly, "to ask if they will be free again
to love and marry and rear their own children."
At this naïve question the others exchanged significant glances.
"My dear child," said the Countess, blushing with embarrassment, "your
defective training makes it extremely difficult for you to understand
"Of course it is all forbidden," spoke up the young Count, "but now, if
it were not, the Princess Marguerite's unique idea would certainly make
capital picture material."
"How clever!" cried the Countess, beaming on her intellectual son.
"Nothing is forbidden for plot material for the Royal Level. You shall
make a picture showing those great beasts of labour again liberated for
"There is one difficulty," Count Rudolph considered. "How could we get
actors for the parts? Our thoroughbred actors are all too light of bone,
too delicate of motion, and our actresses bred for dainty beauty would
hardly caste well for those great hulking round-faced labour mothers."
"Then," remarked the Admiral, "if you must make picture plays why not
one of the mating of German soldiers with the women of the
"Wonderful!" exclaimed the plot maker; "and practical also. Our
actresses are the exact counterpart of those passionate French beauties.
I often study their portraits in the old galleries. They have had no
Eugenics, hence they would be unchanged. Is it not so, Doctor?"
"Without Eugenics, a race changes with exceeding slowness," answered
Zimmern in a voice devoid of expression. "I should say that the French
women of today would much resemble their ancestral types."
"But picturing such matings of military necessity would be very
disgusting," reprimanded the Countess.
"It will be a very necessary part of the coming day of German dominion,"
stated the Admiral. "How else can we expect to rule the world? It is,
indeed, part of the ordained plan."
"But how," I questioned, "is such a plan to be executed? Would the men
of the World State tolerate it?"
"We will oblige them to tolerate it; the children of the next generation
of the inferior races must be born of German sires."
"But the Germans are outnumbered ten to one," I replied.
"Polygamy will take care of that, among the white races; the coloured
races must be eliminated. All breeding of the coloured races must cease.
That, also, is part of the ordained plan."
The conversation was getting on rather dangerous ground for me as I
realized that I dare not show too great surprise at this talk, which of
all things I had heard in Germany was the most preposterous.
But Marguerite made no effort to disguise her astonishment. "I thought,"
she said, "that the German rule of the world was only a plan for
military victory and the conquering of the World Government. I supposed
the people would be left free to live their personal lives as
"That was the old idea," replied the Admiral, "in the days of open war,
before the possibilities of eugenic science were fully realized. But the
ordained plan revealed to His Majesty requires not only the military and
political rule by the Germans, but the biologic conquest of the inferior
races by German blood."
"I think our German system of scientific breeding is very brutal," spoke
up Marguerite with an intensity of feeling quite out of keeping with the
calloused manner in which the older members of the Royal House discussed
The Admiral turned to her with a gracious air. "My lovely maiden," he
said, "your youth quite excuses your idealistic sentiments. You need
only to remember that you are a daughter of the House of Hohenzollern.
The women of this House are privileged always to cultivate and cherish
the beautiful sentiments of romantic love and individual maternity. The
protected seclusion of the Royal Level exists that such love may bloom
untarnished by the grosser affairs of world necessity. It was so
"It was so ordained by men," replied Marguerite defiantly, "and what are
these privileges while the German women are prostituted on the Free
Level or forced to bear children only to lose them--and while you plan
to enforce other women of the world into polygamous union with a
"My dear child," said the Countess, "you must not speak in this wild
fashion. We women of the Royal House must fully realize our
privileges--and as for the Admiral's wonderful tale of world
conquest--that is only his latest hobby. It is talked, of course, in
military circles, but the defensive war is so dull, you know, especially
for the Royal officers, that they must have something to occupy
"When the day arrives," snapped the Admiral, "you will find the Royal
officers leading the Germans to victory like Atilla and William the
"Then why," twitted the Countess, "do you not board one of your
submarines and go forth to battle in the sea?"
"I am not courting unnecessary danger," retorted the Admiral; "but I am
not dead to the realities of war. My apartments are directly connected
with the roof."
"So you can hear the bomb explosions," suggested the Countess.
"And why not?" snapped the Admiral; "we must prepare for danger."
"But you have not been bred for danger," scoffed the Countess. "Perhaps
you would do well to have your reactions to fear tested out in the
psychic laboratories; if you should pass the test you might be elected
as a father of soldiers; it would surely set a good example to our
impecunious Hohenzollern bachelors for whom there are no wives."
The young Count evidently did not comprehend his mother's spirit of
raillery. "Has that not been tried?" he asked, turning toward
"It has," stated the Eugenist, "more than a hundred years ago. There was
once an entire regiment of such Hohenzollern soldiers in the
"And how did they turn out?" I asked, my curiosity tempting me into
"They mutinied and murdered their officers and then held an election--"
Zimmern paused and I caught his eye which seemed to say, "We have gone
too far with this."
"Yes, and what happened?" queried the Countess.
"They all voted for themselves as Colonel," replied the Doctor drily.
At this I looked for an outburst of indignation from the orthodox
Admiral, but instead he seemed greatly elated. "Of course," he enthused;
"the blood breeds true. It verily has the quality of true divinity. No
wonder we super-men repudiated that spineless conception of the soft
Christian God and the servile Jewish Jesus."
"But Jesus was not a coward," spoke up Marguerite. "I have read the
story of his life; it is very wonderful; he was a brave man, who met his
"But where did you read it?" asked the Countess. "It must be very new. I
try to keep up on the late novels but I never heard of this 'Story
"What you say is true," said the Admiral, turning to Marguerite, "but
since you like to read so well, you should get Prof. Ohlenslagger's book
and learn the explanation of the fact that you have just stated. We have
long known that all those great men whom the inferior races claim as
their geniuses are of truth of German blood, and that the fighting
quality of the outer races is due to the German blood that was scattered
by our early emigrations.
"But the distinctive contribution that Prof. Ohlenslagger makes to these
long established facts is in regard to the parentage of this man Jesus.
In the Jewish accounts, which the Christians accepted, the truth was
crudely covered up with a most unscientific fable, which credited the
paternity of Jesus to miraculous interference with the laws of nature.
"But now the truth comes out by Prof. Ohlenslagger's erudite reasoning.
This unknown father of Jesus was an adventurer from Central Asia, a man
of Teutonic blood. On no other conception can the mixed elements in the
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